Prime Minister’s Statement at Government Meeting

Published in Politics
Thursday, 15 December 2016 14:37

Government's Budget for 2017 was approved in Parliament, which is a budget focusing on fiscal sustainability, rapid development, and fast economic growth. You are aware of the debates in the country on our proposed budget, which directly reflects the goals and steps we take.
I would like to say a few words about our plans and the goals targeted by our actions, also about the ongoing processes in our geographic neighborhood.
Firstly, I would like to say about the depreciation of GEL that, in our geographic area, practically every currency of our partner countries is declining. Looking at the percentage, which our opponents often appeal to, and which is nothing but a political manipulation to score points, all major currencies have dropped 100%: the Turkish lira, Ukrainian hryvna (over 200% depreciation, Russian ruble (within 90%), Azerbaijani manat (over 100%). There have been talks about the year 2012 since which GEL has dropped 60-65%. It is not good, though I would like to say that Georgia, with the dynamics of its economic development, and despite all challenges and the social conditions of our population, our country, given its level of development, is in good shape to talk about crucially important development plans for the future.
Every step we take focuses on higher dynamics of development compared to the countries in our neighborhood. It is a regular competition; Georgia is in competition of investments, which is why our competitiveness indicators must be better to attract into Georgia larger portions of investments made in the region. Consequently, we need to focus on directions that can ensure more ways to generate foreign currency and attract investments, and it is to this end that we direct our steps.
Of course, we can take the financial resources the Government has every year and channel a greater portion of the budget toward social issues, but we have a balanced approach. Our budget seeks to put an end to the problems that we, by the way, have been facing for decades, running in a vicious cycle, to embark irreversibly on a path of solving the country's economic problems. It involves our economy's structural improvement and bettering; it involves the development of such directions as export-oriented production; it involves developing the services that also focus on generating foreign currency, tourism predominantly. Significant resources are being invested in tourism infrastructure. Ultimately, we will not be independent from other processes, but we can say as that, with high development dynamics in the region, Georgia will have higher development indicators. Even with a poor economic situation in the region, we, thanks to the steps we are taking, will nonetheless have better indicators.
We understand the problems facing our population, and we understand them better than anyone else does, by the way. It is very easy for our opponents to score political points in times like these. The situation will surely change, because we feel responsible for every step we take. We are not talking about inventing the wheel. We are not doing anything innovative in this case; we only take steps that effect greater economic dynamics, greater development, and greater growth.
Georgia is about to launch a very important process of development. It will not be easy, but it will make our economy healthier. It will place Georgia among the developed Eastern European countries and rid our citizens of the problems we are discussing today. We assume full responsibility for this process, and I would like to urge our citizens once again to maintain reasonable views on this process and keep in mind that the Government is taking a number of necessary steps.
We are carrying out a 10% optimization. Some suggest cutting expenses by 30%-and it is mathematically feasible-but it is a completely irresponsible approach, which we will not take. We are cutting expenses at the level that can maintain the dynamics of healthy development. Similarly, we are liberalizing taxation in the directions that will have the highest positive impact on the dynamics of economic growth. We are increasing taxes in the directions that will have the least negative impact on our economic growth. Every step we take seeks to ensure the right development process in the country, to better our economy structurally, to better our balance of trade, to mitigate our dependence on foreign currency fluctuation, so that our citizens may finally disregard currency exchange rates and, instead, focus on price changes and inflation.

MEETING WITH BRIDGET A. BRINK

Published in Politics
Monday, 21 November 2016 15:48

"US-Georgia strategic partnership will progress further. Georgia has high degree of support from both parties of the United States of America (USA), which is a significant factor for deepening our cooperation further" noted Mr. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Acting Prime Minister of Georgia at the meeting with Ms. Bridget A. Brink, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Euroasian Affairs of US Department of State today.
Ms. Brink congratulated Mr. Kvirikashvili on the success achieved in the General Elections and expressed hopes that trust demonstrated by the population of the country towards the national authorities will enable the latter to carry out the anticipated goals and aspirations.
"It is a manifestation of the high degree of trust by the general public towards the authorities. It is a huge mandate and opportunity offered to the government to implement its plans as anticipated" noted Ms. Brink at the meeting.
Parties discussed major topics of strategic relations between the two countries, including the prospects of cooperation in the following areas: defense and security, economics and trade, democracy and human rights, education and culture.
Discussions were also related to the current position of the region. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State focused on the role of Georgia as a power of stability in the region.
Parties also spoke about the results of the Presidential Elections in USA and process of formation of the new administration.
Meeting held at the Government Administration of Georgia was attended by Mr. David Bakradze, Acting State Minister of Georgia for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration.

STATEMENT MADE BY PRIME MINISTER AT THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNMENT MEETING

Published in Politics
Friday, 18 November 2016 10:30

We are gathered for the last Executive Government Meeting today, until the new composition of the Government of Georgia gets endorsed. I wish to briefly overview the past four years that we have worked together performing tasks that can be definitely labeled as the most significant for our country and our people. Therefore, I wish to greatly thank you all for this. 
I wish to particularly stress the contribution in the breakthrough of our country made by Mr. Bidzina Ivanishvili, first Prime Minister of Georgia from our team. It was an essential transformation of national policy and governance of our country. I wish to sincerely thank him on behalf of all of us. I also wish to thank my predecessor, Mr. Irakli Gharibashvili and everyone else working within the Cabinet of Ministers at different occasions doing the most important job for the country.
What makes me most proud is that a human being has always been the prime and supreme value for our Government. Every step we took together was aimed towards, about, around and for humans. Healthcare Reform Agenda was oriented at them. It enabled hundreds of thousands of our citizens to seek medical treatment for gratis and today we have healthier people great merits to this initiative.
Another milestone achievement of our efforts was aimed at the protection of the socially vulnerable groups and internally displaced people. We always sympathized with regular people and their concerns. Moreover, no person is nowadays afraid of openly expressing his ideas and making choice. Judiciary has undergone a considerable progress. Media is genuinely free. All of this taken together is indeed a huge progress. Our country has advanced this much and duly demonstrated it to the international community.
Georgia evidences progress practically in every dimension according to the rating systems of international institutions - be that democracy or economic development measurement indicators.
Also, voluminous success has been achieved in our quest for European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Georgia signed the Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union (EU), including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). Indeed, it opens entirely new opportunities to Georgia and to the private sector in our country. In addition, we made significant trade links with the East, which is equally and tremendously important indeed.
Of course, there were a number of serious challenges within these four years - both within the country and overseas. We always managed to address them with a shared effort.
Being the Prime Minister of Georgia, I take great pride in every single day spent with each one of you. What makes us significant is the foundation made to the Four Point Reform Agenda, which should serve as a solid ground for the vast economic breakthrough of our country in the coming four years, fundamental transformation of the education system, modernization of the nation-wide infrastructure, development of spatial planning and further more improvement and transformation of the governance system. It will indeed bring more prosperity to each individual citizen of our country and our mission will be met - to let every person embrace the significance and outcome of changes happening and anticipated in the country.
Great trust expressed by citizens of our country by voting for the Georgian Dream in the recent general elections was a huge success on its own merits within the context of democratic development of Georgia. We should by all means translate it into the well-being of each individual living in this country, making it clear and vivid for everyone - thus leading to essential, quality adjustment. Once again, let me thank you all. Let me also wish a brighter future to our country.

71st IPRM meeting takes place in Ergneti

Published in Politics
Thursday, 27 October 2016 10:15

On 26 October 2016, the 71st meeting under the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) took place in Ergneti, co-facilitated by Kęstutis Jankauskas, the Head of the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) and Ambassador Guenther Baechler, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the South Caucasus.
Participants discussed the security situation along the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL), including persons currently in detention. They also discussed borderisation and its impact on people living along the ABL. Updates were provided on the work of the OSCE-commissioned independent expert, who is currently in the region, continuing his work with regards to missing persons.
All participants were complimentary about the effectiveness of the Hotline in providing information and solving issues. They ,recommended that factual notifications should be given in as timely a manner as possible. 
Participants reiterated their commitment to early notification of military and police activities in the vicinity of the ABL. The next IPRM meeting will take place on 30 November 2016.

Information on NATO-Georgia Commission Meeting

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 14:05

NATO Headquarters in Brussels hosted the NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC) meeting on Strategic Communications at Partnerships and Cooperation Security Committee (PCSC) level. The meeting was chaired by the Senior Director of Integration, Partnership and Cooperation Directorate, Yaroslav Skonieczka. Georgian delegation at the Commission was represented by the Deputy State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Mariam Rakviashvili and Deputy Head of NATO Division of International Relations and Euro-Atlantic Integration Department of the Ministry of Defence, Tinatin Mzarelua.
Georgian side provided Allies with exhaustive information on the current challenges of the country, as well as progress achieved in the area of effective strategic communications and future plans in this regard. In the light of existing threats in the region, Allies stressed the significance of strategic communications and positively assessed achievements of Georgian side. Moreover, NATO Allies expressed their readiness to further deepen cooperation in this area and to participate in the implementation of future activities in this regard.
NATO Allies reiterated their support to Georgia's Euro-Atlantic integration at NATO-Georgia Commission meeting

Georgian and Russian Businessmen will meet in Tbilisi

Published in Politics
Thursday, 20 October 2016 10:26

Georgian and Russian Businessmen will meet in next month in Tbilisi. This information was released by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Russia. According to reports, the meeting will be held under the auspices of Russian and Georgian Chambers of Commerce.
The results of the meeting of Zurab Abashidze and Grigory Karasin are summed up in the statement of the Foreign Ministry of Russia. The meeting was held in Prague at October, 19. According to statement, the meeting will deepen the cooperation between the sides.

Vakhtang Kolbaia met with the project participant youth IDPs

Published in Society
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 11:20

The Acting Chairman of Government of the A/R of Abkhazia, Vakhtang Kolbaia met with the project participant youth IDPs. Head of the government positively assessed the work and noted that such projects contribute to increase public awareness of young people and their involvement in the process, which contributes to confidence building and reconciliation. The meeting was attended by Minister of Confidence- Building and Reconciliation Issues of the A/R of Abkhazia, David Gvadzabia, Chairman of the Department of Justice of the A/R of Abkhazia, Igor Kopaliani, Deputy of the Minister of Confidence- Building and Reconciliation Issues of the A/R of Abkhazia, Bela Kopaliani, Director of, Children and Youth National Center ", Giga Gabelaia and Bela Saria.
The project was carried out within the cooperation between Ministry of Confidence- Building and Reconciliation Issues of the A/R of Abkhazia and,, Children and Youth National Center " that aims to engage adults living in Zugdidi and close area during a week non-formal educational activities, raise public awareness among the youth, raising teamwork skills, volunteerism and encourage active citizenship, developing creative and analytical thinking, raise environmental awareness. Week was held in Zugdidi and Tbilisi. Parallel the program was organized cultural tours.
The summery project meeting was held at, Children and Youth National Center "of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.

Meeting with the Minister of Defence of the French Republic

Published in Politics
Monday, 12 September 2016 10:56

Prime Minister of Georgia held a meeting with the Minister of Defence of the French Republic Jean-Yves Le Drian. 
The meeting commenced with recalling the tragic events of September 11. The parties discussed importance of combating terrorism, international security issues as well as international security issues and the contribution of Georgian military contingent in the European Union peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic. 
The parties of the meeting discussed main aspects of bilateral partnership. The conversation touched upon the cooperation perspectives in the defence area and the importance of the exchange programs in the area of military education. 
Giorgi Kvirikashvili thanked Minister of Defence of France for his visit to Georgia and expressed hope that he will support further development of the bilateral relations etween the countries. 
"I am glad that your first visit to Georgia has taken place during the celebration of the 10-year anniversary of establishing the Mountain Training School of Sachkhere. French side has greatly contributed to setting up of this institution. We consider your visit as a clear indication of the solid support of France to Georgia as well as the message of the existing partnership between the countries," - Giorgi Kvirikashvili noted at the meeting.
Minister of Defence of Georgia Levan Izoria and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikheil Janelidze attended the meeting held at the Administration of the Government of Georgia. 

Meeting with the President of Armenia

Published in Politics
Monday, 05 September 2016 15:46

As a part of his official visit to Armenia, Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili conducted a meeting with the President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan. In the beginning of the conversation the President of Armenia emphasized the importance of the visit of the Prime Minister. Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Serzh Sargsyan discussed the multi-centurial ties between Armenia and Georgia and expressed readiness to foster deepening cooperation in various fields.
During the face-to-face meeting the Prime Minister of Georgia and the President of Armenia discussed partnership of trade and economic, transportation and humanitarian and cultural fields. It was hoped that economic and trade potential will be fully utilized. Particular attention was paid to the cooperation in the areas, including communication, tourism and agriculture.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Serzh Sargsyan discussed security issues and declared that for the purpose of rapid and uninterrupted implementation of the economic projects, regional security has great significance.
After the face-to-face meeting President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan hosted Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili at the official dinner.

Meeting with the Small and Medium Business

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 10:15

I would like to listen to you and hear recommendations from persons with relevant experience and see what shall be done to alleviate activities of SMEs, - Prime Minister addressed Georgian businessmen.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili conducted a meeting with the representatives of SMEs. In the beginning of the meeting he presented the Government's 4-point reform plan and noted that the Government has a specific plan of rapid development of the country that may lead to a major breakthrough in the economy of Georgia.
"We believe that 4-point reform plan of the Government may bring qualitative changes in the development of the country. Focusing on selected directions will enable us to introduce some serious qualitative changes in development of the country. This includes program of accelerating economic growth. Parliament has already approved the package of amendments that envisage abolition of corporate income tax in the country. Only distributed income will be taxable. The package also provides for abolition of seizing of bank accounts without relevant court orders and even this will be possible only in cases of urgent need. We are working on additional amendments, including on regulation of the term of inspection of the companies and usage of pretrial detention for economic crimes only extraordinary situations," - Giorgi Kvirikashvili noted.
According to him, element of funding of startups is a component of economic growth direction that will continue not only in the area of innovations, but in the area of startups as well. According to the Prime Minister, the Government is also working on the pension reform.
"Next year we will be ready to launch cumulative pension schemes. Unfortunately, we have lost quite some time after regaining of independence. During the last two years we have put some great efforts to develop model with reference to the world standards and now we are working on legislative amendments necessary to implement pension system," - Prime Minister noted.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili elaborated on fundamental reform of the education system. According to him, implementation of German dual system has already started in the field of professional education, which implies retraining of students and middle-aged persons with the participation of the private area. This will have a direct impact on the level of unemployment. Head of the Government also touched upon the governance reform that provides for creation of unified state service system.
"This system will be based on the principle of one-stop-shop. In a few days we will have the presentation of the plan of "Business House", which will unite services provided by various ministries. We have also set up an Investment Council and it will be a welcoming fact if at least one representative of small business is engaged in the work of the said council to avoid negative surprises," - Prime Minister indicated.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili put an emphasis on spatial development of the country and elaborated on infrastructural programs the Government plans to implement within the next 4 years.
"Within the timeframe of the next 4 years we plan to finalize construction of the East-West highway from Sarpi to the Red Bridge (Tsiteli Khidi) and Sadakhlo. We will also construct highway from Tbilisi to Lagodekhi that will connect us with Azerbaijan," - Giorgi Kvirikashvili explained.
Prime Minister put an emphasis on construction of Mtskheta-Larsi road and noted that partnership will be essential to ensure that the highway leads to Vladikavkaz. According to him, construction of the road from Kutaisi to Svaneti through Tsageri and Lentekhi, and with assistance of tunnels is planned.
"Construction of the bypass road from Lentekhi to Mestia through Ushguli will be launched in the near future, however, this road will be not enough for the development of Tetnuldi resort. Hence, it is essential to build tunnels. We also consider building of the road from Kutaisi to the South Georgia in 4 years. Drafting of project has already been launched. It will be essential to make Kutaisi a national hub," - head of the Government noted.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili outlined importance of the involvement of the private sector in the process of implementation of the plan of the country's rapid development. Head of the Government responded to the questions of the representatives of SMEs and listened specific ideas about ways of amelioration of the business environment and production processes.
Meeting with the Prime Minister held at the Austrian warehouse Gebruder Weiss was attended by around 100 representatives of SMEs.

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